Self-care, not selfish care
Moms often feel guilty for taking time for themselves. Even something as simple as buying new clothes for yourself can feel frivolous, yet you don’t blink an eye when you buy three new outfits for your kiddo. Even though they’ll grow out of it in a season when your clothes will be with you until they are unrecognizable. There is this mindset that putting yourself first, or honoring your own needs is selfish. It is unacceptable. It makes you a bad mom.
And that mindset is bogus.
First and foremost, you are a human being. You have the same basic needs as the humans you care for every day. You need to eat food, drink enough water, practice good hygiene, get good sleep, move your body, and feel safe and loved just the same as everyone else. But so often taking the time out of your day to do so, or asking for what you need causes guilt. My moms will even tell me that they don’t know what they need to feel loved or what kind of body movement feels good because it has been so long since they’ve experienced those things, they have forgotten.
Let me be loud and clear here.
They call it SELF-care. Not SELFISH-care.
Becoming a mother does not make you less human. Being the matriarch of your home does make you a robot that doesn’t need the same love that your kids need. Sure, some days lack of sleep makes you feel like a zombie, but that is just another sign of being human with basic needs!
When you experience those moments of overwhelm where someone needing one more thing, or hearing “mom” one more time will push you over the edge, I want you to stop and ask yourself what all you have done today. Maybe your day was filled with bathing kids, cooking food, and doing laundry. Great job Mom! Now tell me, did you also shower? Did you eat that meal when it was hot? Did you put clean clothes on? If you answered no to any of these, you have not been giving yourself the same respect you give your family members. You are telling them (and yourself) that you are not as worthy as they are. Again, that is bogus. If this is you right now, put your phone down and go get in the shower. Drink a big glass of water. Reheat that meal and eat it while it is hot. The rest can wait.
You are a better parent when you are cared for too. Just like your kids are happier with full bellies and well-rested eyes. You’d likely be able to show up as a happier mom/wife/employee if you honored your own needs as well. This is not selfish. This is a reality of being human. Nowhere in the non-existent rule book, does it tell you that motherhood means you don’t matter, or you always take the back burner, or for you to care for your own being the way you care for those other beings is selfish.
Society has been fast to change and slow to catch up. In the 1950s it was the norm for all moms to be stay-at-home moms. Their priorities were keeping the home, making meals, and raising babies. And at that time, it was wonderful. The world moved a bit slower. Kids played in the street with the neighbors and not at the trampoline park across town. It was a different world. When women began to enter the workforce, children's activities became more involved, and entertainment options expanded, the days got busier, but the mindset never changed. So now you have a mindset that is fit for a time period that you don’t live in. Be gracious with yourself. Be realistic about what you expect out of your day. And honor your own needs in between.
Self-care is not selfish-care mama. It is a basic human need.
If you’re ready for some strategies or ideas, I’d love to help you out. You can book your session here.